The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: The Courage of their Convictions

 
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Feb 3, 2019 The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: The Courage of their Convictions

Sermon Series: Choices – Biblical examples of faithful decision making
Having just returned from a three-day meeting in Richmond, my thoughts are finally focused on this Sunday's message and the story from the opening chapters of the Book of Daniel of three incredible young men with names that may sound strange to our ears - Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

While the names may not fit well in a newspaper headline, they certainly should not be forgotten. While in captivity in Babylon along with other members of the Hebrew nation, they were given Babylonian names and positions of trust in the King's courts. When they refused to bow down to a golden statue, they were tied up and thrown into a fiery furnace so hot that the soldiers who threw them in were killed by coming too close. But, as described in a childhood song I once learned, "God sent an angel to the pit, and the three men did not burn a bit."

Their kind of courage does not come lightly or on an impulse - it is born out of deep convictions cultivated over a lifetime. Our question for this Sunday: when we are faced with critical choices in life, do we have the courage that springs out of our own deep convictions to do what is right in the eyes of God?

Our Sunday morning sermons in January and February are focusing on CHOICES. Like Joseph, Moses, Jonathan, and other people of faith in the Bible, our United Methodist denomination has some critical choices to make in the near future. Over 800 delegates from around the world will meet in St. Louis at a General Conference of the UMC in St. Louis from February 23-26 to attempt to make decisions around the issues of human sexuality and biblical authority that divide our church.

As we pray for this conference and God's will to be done, it seems wise to turn to the Bible and study the men and women who, in their own time, made the critical choice to follow God.

Please pray and ask for God to guide us all in the coming days.

Peace in Christ, Pastor Bob

Daniel 3:14-28

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